This post originally appeared on Behind the Burner on March 5. However, I thought I'd share it on my personal blog too AND call out that the photo was taken by my BRILLIANT friend Brian Witte.If the cupcake has dominated the dessert scene in recent history, it's about to face what pastry lovers might call the next French Revolution: the French macaron is positioned to be the new IT dessert. Unlike the cupcake that proved to be a viable business venture only in the last 10 years, the French macaron has being pulling its weight as a delicious morsel since its first incarnation during the Renaissance.
Although food historians debate just how French the French macaron is—some contest that the macaron debuted in Venice and was brought to France, along with her pastry chefs, by Catherine de Medici in 1533—there has never been an argument about the popularity of this traditionally tea time snack and/or dessert.
But is 2010 the year for the macaron? Are we going to see a food truck dedicated solely to the treat? Will CupcakeCamp be replaced by MacaronCamp? It remains to be seen, but much to the chagrin of macaron purists, versions are popping up everywhere, from Whole Foods to McDonald's. Tip: For those whose palates have never tasted the deliciousness of this meringue-based "sandwich cookie," New York City has long been a haven for impressive macaron menus.
Madeleine's Patisserie in Chelsea serves up over 15 different flavors of fresh macarons daily. Flavors include Champagne, cassis and pistachio amongst others. Brooklyn's Almondine is famous throughout the borough for their macaron selection where pastry chef Hervé Poussot is known for his intense flavoring.
For those that are already die-hard fans, Macaron Café sells boxes holding as many as 20 macarons and have named them the Queen Catherine de Medicis Box, in honor of the patron saint of macaron creation. For New Yorkers working in Midtown, or for those not afraid to visit tourist trap areas, La Maison du Chocolat and Bouchon Bakery are conveniently located in Rockefeller Center and Columbus Circle.
Notable macaron shops in New York:
132 W 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
85 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
161 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
La Maison du Chocolat
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
Photo credit: Brian Witte